NPR: Eboo Patel On The Importance Of Religious Pluralism

Talk of the Nation, October 2, 2008. In this installment of the This American Moment series, Eboo Patel, director of the Interfaith Youth Core, discusses his efforts to promote religious pluralism among young people. Patel believes that this type of mutual respect and understanding is the “big idea of our time.” Patel is the author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, … Continue reading NPR: Eboo Patel On The Importance Of Religious Pluralism

Inseparable nature of Faith and World

Historically and in accordance with Ismaili tradition, the Imam of the time is concerned with spiritual advancement as well as improvement of the quality of life of his murids. The Imam’s Talim lights the murids’ path to spiritual enlightenment and vision. In temporal matters, the Imam guides the murids, and motivates them to develop their potential. Mawlana Hazar Imam Shah Karim al Hussaini, His Highness … Continue reading Inseparable nature of Faith and World

Science and Belief

“Islam does not perceive the world as two seperate domains of mind and spirit, science and belief” (Aga Khan IV, McMaster University Convocation, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, May 15th 1987) “Discovery of knowledge was seen by those founders [Fatimids] as an embodiment of religious faith, and faith as reinforced by knowledge of workings of the Creator’s physical world” (Aga Khan IV, 27th May 1994, Cambridge, Massachusets, … Continue reading Science and Belief

Houston Chronicle: Houstonians open homes for interfaith dinner dialogue

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Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

A Sikh and a Muslim who sat down for dinner at a Jewish home Thursday night agreed on what drew them to the gathering.

“In my vocabulary, there is no such thing as coincidence. We are here for a reason,” Bindu Malhotra, the Sikh, said of the interfaith dinner.

“I feel God is making all this happen,” agreed Nasru Rupani, an Ismaili Muslim who said he wanted to give a face to Islam.

The two were among more than 800 Houstonians to attend Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogues held simultaneously at 73 homes around the city.

Their host, Ann Nunes, was delighted with the religious diversity of the nine guests at her Meyerland-area home. “I just feel it’s important for all of us to know and appreciate each other and how much wisdom and beauty we all have to offer,” she said.

Houston Chronicle
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Chicago Tribune: Practicing the fine art of cultural acceptance

“It’s very important to create a space for Muslims to come forward and express what it means to be Muslim,” said Tazim Kassam, chairman of the department of religion at Syracuse University. “It doesn’t mean opposition to modernity, or opposition to the West. There’s an enormously rich musical tradition in Islam, and this is not always appreciated or known.”

By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah
Tribune staff reporter
November 9, 2007

The tiny community of Ismaili Muslims in Chicago numbers just 5,000 or so, but last month the Ismailis’ annual Partnership Walk, which raises money to fight global poverty, drew 3,000 people to Millennium Park.

On Friday, the little-known community will hold another high-profile event, a Symphony Center concert of traditional musicians from the predominantly Muslim nations of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in central Asia.

Ismailis, Shia Muslims who focus on esoteric interpretations of the Quran, number about 15 million out of an estimated 1 billion Muslims worldwide. For centuries, they have been a minority in most places where they have lived.

As minorities, sometimes persecuted, Ismailis have developed a long history of trying to reach beyond the boundaries of their community and learn to live with dominant majorities, whether it is other Muslim societies in Africa and Asia or the predominantly Christian and secular United States.

With the help of Prince Aga Khan, the Ismailis’ spiritual leader and one of the richest men in the world, they’ve been able to take on ambitious endeavors across the globe, establishing schools and hospitals and restoring prized Islamic monuments. The $500,000 Aga Khan Award for Architecture is now recognized as the world’s most lucrative prize in that field.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is co-sponsoring Friday’s event, called “Mystics, Nomads, and Troubadours in Central Asian Music.” For the Ismailis, culture is key to finding common ground.

Chicago Tribune
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Islam as thinking, spiritual faith

  The Aga Khan has emphasised the view of Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith: one that teaches compassion and tolerance and that upholds the dignity of man, Allah’s noblest creation. In the Shia tradition of Islam, it is the mandate of the Imam of the time to safeguard the individual’s right to personal intellectual search and to give practical expression to the ethical vision … Continue reading Islam as thinking, spiritual faith

Diversity of Interpretations

We are all aware that we live in a world where diversity is often evoked as a threat and, more particularly, where diversity in the interpretation of a faith can be seen as a sign of disloyalty. This phenomenon is sometimes perceived to apply principally to Muslims, but it also exists in other societies. Absolutist, exclusivist, and rejectionist claims to the truth, especially to religious … Continue reading Diversity of Interpretations